Though the first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon has just premiered, a second season is already on the horizon.
Variety reported that the network has officially renewed the show after the first episode drew in nearly 10 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max, marking the biggest audience for an HBO series premiere.
“We are beyond proud of what the entire ‘House of the Dragon’ team has accomplished with season one,” said Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, per Variety. “Our phenomenal cast and crew undertook a massive challenge and exceeded all expectations, delivering a show that has already established itself as must-see-TV. A huge thank you to George, Ryan, and Miguel for leading us on this journey. We couldn’t be more excited to continue bringing to life the epic saga of House Targaryen with season two.”
The 10-episode series, based on George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood, takes place 200 years prior to Game of Thrones, portraying the events that led to the demise of House Targaryen and ultimately culminated in the civil war known as Dance of Dragons.
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Production on the series began in 2021, with Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy recruited to play the younger and older versions of Princess Rhaenyra, respectively. Others also playing principal parts in the show include Paddy Considine as King Viserys, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon, and Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke as the younger and older versions of Alicent Hightower.
HBO’s content chief, Casey Bloys, previously hinted at the future of the franchise in a February 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
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“Typically speaking, I like to take an approach where we will talk about what a second season might look like and talk about scripts. But we tend to like to see how a show performs,” Bloys told the outlet. “That said, if I were betting, I’d say there’s a pretty good shot that House of the Dragon will get a season two. But we tend to like things to air and give it some time. That said, on most shows, we’ll do preparation and put ourselves in a good position to move forward.”
Later, THR additionally reported that the television network “is prepared to greenlight a second season of Dragon very quickly after the show’s debut if the ratings are high enough.”
To put that into perspective, Game of Thrones first opened to 2.2 million viewers in the United States, but concluded with 19.3 million overnight viewers across all platforms, according to the outlet. Still, “I don’t think anybody is thinking this show will pick up, from a ratings perspective, right where Thrones left off,” HBO’s EVP and head of drama told the magazine.
The first test of House of the Dragon‘s Season 2 viability lied with fans, many of whom were left disappointed at best, enraged at worst, by GoT‘s divisive series finale. Are the show’s creators able to live up to fans’ expectations—or, at the very least, distance themselves to the original series’ lackluster ending? If the premiere’s audience numbers are any indication, House of the Dragon has thus far passed with flying colors.
Watch this space for updates.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.